June 2016         Mankato Area Foundation Assistive Technology Grant Project

SMILES recently completed an Assistive Technology project funded through the Mankato Area Foundation to provide education, training, and access to technology that people can use to solve disability related problems.  This video highlights technology for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

See the full episode below or click here >> to see highlights.



May 2016  Electronics Recycling

SMILES is getting ready for our Annual Electronic Recycling event May 6 and 7 at the Madison East Center.  This year’s event is in support of our Veterans.

The money raised from the event is used to purchase various types of assistive technology (AT) devices used by individuals and families in the Region 9 area that SMILES covers.   Some of those devices include: iPads and various apps, communication devices, devices for the deaf and hearing impaired, large button TV remotes, different types of software including speech recognition, screen magnifying, text to speech, and scanning software.    SMILES is often asked to hold assistive technology presentations throughout Region 9, and we can demonstrate different types of AT that are available.

SMILES Ramp Project is also ready to roll out in the beginning of May.   With our Ramp Project, we can build permanent wood ramps or temporary metal ramps, depending on the consumer’s need and situation.  In previous ramp building seasons, we have built ramps in Mankato, New Ulm, Gibbon, Kasota, St James, Fairmont, Winnebago, and St Peter just to name a few communities.

Portable ramps are just that: portable.  They are easily carried and can be set up by one person (6 foot ramp) or 2 person (longer, i.e. 12 foot ramp.) Portable ramps are available to rent; call ahead to reserve one for your family need or event.

Temporary aluminum ramps and “roll a ramps” can be put up on site in about 1/2 day or less, but it can take a couple weeks or more to get the materials, do all the measures and arrange time to come out and actually put it up.  Permanent residential ramps take longer to plan and build; they are attached to the home, and often involve getting a building permit.  The site planned for the ramp needs to allow enough room to meet the space requirements of a useful, custom planned ramp.

Planning a ramp takes some time; if you know when you will be needing a ramp, let us know ahead of time, if possible.  Due to the late snows, there may be some delays in starting the season, but once the ground is thawed and dried, we are ready to go!

If you have questions about our ramp program or our other programs, feel free to stop in, call Howard at 507-345-7139 (888-676-6498 toll free) or email him: Howard Rosten.